Keeping in Touch in College

If you know me, you know I’m notoriously bad at keeping in touch. I’ve never been the type to text first, especially when I haven’t spoken to someone in a while, and as someone who is easily distracted, I often find myself reading texts and not replying, or missing calls and saying I’ll call back, but accidentally forgetting to do so. These actions aren’t intentional, and I don’t mean any harm to the people trying to contact me, but despite these truths, some of my relationships have undoubtedly been strained by my unresponsiveness. Since coming to college, I have been trying my best to avoid losing touch with people I care about. Here are some of the strategies I’ve used to maintain my relationships, even from hundreds of miles away.

 

  1. Don’t open messages unless you are ready to respond. Oftentimes I’ll receive texts, snap-texts, or even emails from my friends in the middle of an online class, while I’m out for a meal, or while I’m busy studying or doing homework. When I open these messages while preoccupied, I find myself forgetting to respond over half the time, and not realizing until I hear from the sender again, or go to text them a few days later. In order to mitigate this, I try to avoid opening my messages until I have the time to have a conversation. Although this may mean waiting a few hours to respond, it also allows for a more meaningful interaction. 
  2. When you think of someone, tell them. This sentiment has helped me significantly in making sure to talk to people I care about. Whether it be a song that comes on in the car, a food item in at a restaurant, or a post on social media, if something you see reminds you of a friend or family member be sure to tell them. Not only will they be happy to know you’re thinking of them, but it can also be a great way to start a conversation with someone no matter how long it has been since you last spoke. 
  3. Set reminders. As ridiculous as it may sound, setting a reminder to text someone you care about is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. The reminder can be something as simple as a biweekly or monthly notification, but make sure it tells you to text or call someone you miss or someone you care about. There’s no shame in a friendly reminder to text a friend, and in the long-run, it will be worth it to maintain important relationships.